I am guilty of it, and I’ll be the first to admit it. I take a hundred different shots, delete the unsharable ones, adjust the angles, assess, edit, re-take, and then if I somehow was able to get that one perfect picture, I finally share to my newsfeed. Social media has become a place where we post and share what we deem to be “shareable” pictures and videos of our personal lives. And, while we all know that, we still question ourselves compared to others.
My family traveled to Mexico for vacation just last week. As a tradition, we took family photographs by the beautiful, bright-colored gardens and the perfectly colored ocean and white sands on the beach. I posted and shared fourteen gorgeous family pictures. For anyone who scrolled through their newsfeed, and came upon them, the pictures emitted radiance, love, happiness and pure perfection.
While it was great to share such incredible pictures that will provide us with special lifetime memories, the reality behind the pictures was much different.
First and foremost, taking pictures with three kids under the age of six requires a clown, bribery, and an exhausting amount of begging and pleading. Then, sitting brothers next to each other that closely invited them hit, push, yell, and scream at each other until the baby was knocked down and he started crying.
Next, add in the fight my husband and I got into minutes before meeting the photographer. Over what? The clothes we were going to wear. Seems silly and irrational, but at the time he was angry, and I was pissed. “Look at each other and smile,” shouted the photographer. Smile? That was the last thing I felt like doing, but we were on camera, so we smiled.
The photographer snapped so many shots, he was bound to get some of the kids all looking at the camera or all smiling but in different directions.
I selected and shared the “perfect” family pictures. In a world where we follow friends on social media and only see “perfection,” it is so hard not to compare ourselves and our lives to others. The truth is, pictures may be worth a thousand words, but unfortunately in a time of photoshopping, editing, selecting, and then sharing, those words may be imperfect, untrue, and misleading. Sure we had smiles, laughs, and good times taking them, we had battles, reprimands, and bickering too.
So, therefore, the next time you scroll through your feed, and all you see is perfection, take it with a grain of salt, and know that behind every perfect picture is an imperfect story. And that’s okay! That is real life, and we are all in this together.